BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - A morning drizzle brought on challenges as the vendors set up and lined Springfield Avenue for the third annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair this past Sunday. The rain cleared with plenty of time for the crowd to enjoy the town-wide block party.
Springfield Avenue was anchored with pony rides and inflatable slides, rides and games to entertain the kids -- with everything from bird houses, dream catchers, clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, local home improvement companies, realtors, banks, hands on martial arts instruction, canvas painting, throwing footballs with the "Jets", and eMedical's Teddy Bear Clinic inbetween. The food garden offered plenty of tasty options, with a band stand showing off local talent.
Now, everyone in town knows that thousands of people will come through Berkeley Heights on this date, said Dr. Pat Smith, Suburban Chamber of Commerce Chair. "People can see what Berkeley Heights offers -- attention is on Berkeley Heights."
"This brings the whole town together," said Councilman Craig Pastore. "You have all kinds of booths and all different kinds of businesses [new and established] -- everyone gets to see what everyone else is doing."
It was an opportunity for residents to meet the political candidates, shake hands with a police officer, ask questions to the DPW and thank a volunteer firefighter and rescue squad EMT.
"I think the street fair is great," said Pastore. "We are getting the town people out. They get to see all of the new things that are going on around town."
The crowd was steady. As the people walked down Springfield Avenue, they couldn't help but notice the construction and landscape improvements taking shape.
"You don't get to walk in the street and spend time seeing downtown when you are rushing here and there and everywhere else," said Pastore.
"You get to see what is going on downtown. What we are doing with the landscape, it makes a huge difference," said Pastore.
Vendors reported an uptick in business. Sheri Levine Shea, owner of Kayla's Creative Art Studio took reservations in each of her three scheduled classes and inquiries for future parties.
"It was a terrific first year at the street fair for us," said Darren DeMarco of White Tiger Dojo. "We saw many great families interested in seeing what the White Tiger Dojo difference is all about. Thank you Berkeley Heights and the Suburban Chamber of Commerce."